October 03, 2013

Infected teens in a threatened America

By Connie Willis
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After three weeks of nonstop terrorist attacks around the country—from the fall of the St. Louis Gateway Arch to the elimination of Chicago—the military has started rounding up every young person between 13 and 20. No place is left untouched, including Aubrey Parsons’ small town in Utah. When her alcoholic, good-for-nothing father rats her out for beer money, Aubrey, along with classmate (and occasional high school janitor) Jack, ends up in a military compound meant to weed out Lambdas, or teens infected with a virus that attacks developing brains.

Leaving victims with symptoms that range from laughable (hot breath that can boil coffee) to deadly (superhuman strength that can crush bones), the X-Men-like virus has given Aubrey the power to become invisible. Aubrey and Jack prepare to use their powers to help a Green Beret unit, but not even the military is certain who the real enemy is.

This multilayered science-fiction thriller takes on more complexity and intensity when the pair meets Lambdas Alec and Laura, professionally trained terrorists. When Aubrey and Jack unknowingly end up in Alec and Laura’s destructive plan to take down America’s beloved monuments around the West, the fast-paced plot doesn’t let up until the final pages.

Author Robison Wells skillfully converges multiple storylines and points of view throughout Blackout, revealing clues about the nation’s terrorist activity and the teens’ involvement along the way. But don’t expect all the secrets to be revealed. Wells leaves just enough loose ends and intrigue to entice readers back for a sequel. Just like the mutant virus, fan appeal will quickly spread.

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By Connie Willis
ISBN 9780553803198

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